Cranfield University Human Factors

By | 16th May 2017

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Cranfield University Human Factors

Human factors play a critical role in most systems and industries. There is a growing understanding that earlier consideration of these factors in design can greatly improve efficiency and safety, and prevent the need for more costly remedial activities at a later operational stage.

Organisations are increasingly seeking human factors research and guidance to improve their understanding of how best to incorporate human behaviour and performance into design.

Our expertise includes specific research contexts and applications such as driver behaviour, military/defence human factors and industrial ergonomics. However, we possess a vast range of skills and experience which enables us to approach any human-systems problem.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Human factors in aviation systems – how human factors can help us to understand performance and human error in advanced and highly automated aviation systems, for example cockpit attention management, pilot decision making analysis and predictive tools for improving safety in aviation maintenance.
  • Analysis of performance in aviation systems – development of objective and subjective measures to characterise, compare and understand human performance and culture in aviation systems.
  • User centred system design – understanding how display design can support or degrade human performance in safety critical tasks in the aviation domain. In particular, attention management on synoptic and ‘big picture’ displays.
  • Manual assembly tacit skills capture – understanding what people do in their performance of production tasks and particularly the cognitive processing and decision making that they are not consciously aware of to evaluate the suitability of manual skills for automation and for function allocations.
  • Industrial ergonomic assessments – developing health and safety by conducting ergonomic risk assessments in relation to task characteristic, through task redesign and process improvements, and by cultivating physical working environment conditions and organisational behaviours.
  • Human-robot interaction – investigating the factors that affect implementation, human adoption and role change including the psychological impacts of sharing workspace to develop design tools for industrial collaborative work systems; analysing health and safety legislature to formulate new safety report system and ethical policy for collaborative working.
  • Defence human factors – applying knowledge in cognitive and occupational psychology and the social and behavioural sciences to address defence stakeholder requirements. This includes all elements of the tri-Service training and personnel domains.
  • Driver behaviour – the application of scientific research and knowledge to the understanding of driver decision making, attitudes and behaviours. In particular, the design and development of interventions to reduce the risk of crash involvement from a psychological, behavioural and educational perspective.

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